Saturday, March 10, 2007

Just a poor choice of words?

In the heirarchy of the entertainment business, soaps have gotten the short straw for years, particularly in the R-E-S-P-E-C-T department. In covering the floundering MyNetworkTV broadcast net, Naples News "Mr. TV" columnist David Morris, goes for an easy, if unfortunate, dig on the industry:

"When the WB and UPN networks merged to create The CW, one station in each market became the CW affiliate and the other grabbed the short straw," wrote Morris, "joining FOX's MyNetworkTV and airing soap operas every night."
Mr. Morris correctly notes that MyNetworkTV "didn't work anywhere," but it no doubt it could be argued (to Morris and anyone else chalking up MyNetworkTV's struggling to it's choice to program "telenovela-style" soaps in prime-time) that MyNetworkTV's real problems are rooted in far more conventional concerns for an upstart network (starting with viewer recogntion...recent reports have noted that most Americans didn't even know the net existed...let alone that they could find it in their local market), not the choice to run soaps, versus, say, UPN's original line-up of sitcoms like Homeboys in Outer Space.

(There is, of course, a cable channel that does nothing BUT run soaps 7x a week, and something tells me the MyNetworkTV brass would have been perfectly happy to have drawn a "short straw" that delivered SoapNet-like numbers, buzz, and viewer loyalty... )

Here's wishing MyNetworkTV all the success in the world in finding it's ultimate place on the dial and audience--and finding those things will be a lot easier if they acknowledge the myriad real reasons for their lackluster peformance thus far...and don't rely on scapegoating what has appeared to be fairly well-produced, campy soap fun these past few months (at least according to the 4 people who knew MyNetworkTV was even on...and where to find it).

2 comments:

carley-ubenish said...

Soaps are such an easy target for the lazy. This guy probably a) hasn't seen the My Network soaps a full episode through and b) still thinks daytime soaps have organ music grinding away in the background, so it seemed like an easy point to make that My Network went with soaps and the affiliates got screwed because of it. Whatever.

k/lennox said...

Ben, you make a good point in your coverage...if My Network TV had counterprogrammed SoapNet by running re-runs of B&B, ATWT, GL, and PASSIONS, they would have been an interesting addition to the dial, soap fans would have FOUND THEM, and their numbers would be great. Just because the telenovelas weren't the right fix, soaps could have very well been the right one...alas.



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